If the title caught your attention, then chances are:

* you’re an instructor new to online learning or,
* you’re a department administrator seeking to draw instructors to online learning or,
* you’re an instructional designer helping instructors integrate technology into their teaching practices

At any rate, this series is aimed at illustrating how using an LMS – like Moodle – can assist you in transitioning your instruction to the online medium.


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So, where to begin? Let’s talk about what you already DO know: your syllabus.

Every instructor has a “plan” for what content they are going to deliver to their students, what tools and resources they will be using, and how they are going to assess the learning of their students. This is the all-powerful “syllabus”. The syllabus generally has passed some sort of accreditation body – be it the NCLB, the campus curriculum committee, a certification committee – whatever this accreditation body is, it means your syllabus has passed the muster for you to deliver and teach said content in the classroom.

So now – let’s go one step further: Your syllabus is your CONTRACT with your students. Yep. It’s a living, breathing document – it grounds you and your students and sets the expectations for the course. So, let’s make use of this document in bringing you to the online world.


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A fellow Moodler (someone who uses Moodle.org’s LMS software) asked where to learn some basic principles about e-Learning and how to get a “demo” course up quickly. It was posted in Moodle.org’s forums. I am reposting what I suggested here, as many have found it quite useful so far:

“Re: E-Learning Training – by Mary Parke – Tuesday, 17 July 2007, 09:03 AM

I’m copying below the resources I point my beginning instructors to. Also, you may just want to try out the demo.moodle.org courses, as well – they have full functionality for testing out the features. The below resources are more on the pedagogy of teaching “online”. However, I’d go to the Michigan State Virtual University website and check it out – they have a great “mental map” of the whole process that is clickable.

What you will want to focus on, is the layout/structure of your demo course, and adding a few tools for your demo instructors to test out. Choose topics or weeks, and know that the top block of your course is where you’d put things like the name of the course, the instructor, contact info for the instructor, a link to the syllabus, and possibly an “iCafe” discussion forum for your students or a “Q/A” forum for your students to ask questions about the course/course materials. Then plan out your weeks. Put a header on the first line (week 1 or the name of the topic) and then add content and resources using “add a resource – choose create a webpage, or link to a directory or file” or if you’ve the book module installed, create a book of the content for the week/topic. Then add a discussion forum, an assignment (online is easiest), or a quiz. This is just the basics…

If you need a template, let me know.

Good luck!

- Mary

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